Professor Comerford's research focuses on galaxy evolution and active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Specifically, she works on pairs of supermassive black holes that are brought together during galaxy mergers. These black hole pairs can be observable as AGNs with kiloparsec-scale separations, and they are useful as tracers of galaxy mergers and supermassive black hole growth.
galaxies, supermassive black holes, active galactic nuclei, galaxy evolution, galaxy mergers
ASTR 2030 - Black Holes
Black holes are one of the most bizarre phenomena of nature. Students are introduced to the predicted properties of black holes, astronomical evidence for their existence and formation, and modern ideas about space, time, and gravity.
ASTR 3830 - Astrophysics 2 - Galactic and Extragalactic
The second semester of a year-long introduction to astrophysical processes. The physical processes developed in ASTR 3730 are applied to topics in extragalactic astronomy, including galaxies, supermassive black holes, galaxy clusters and cosmology. Elective for APS major and minor.
ASTR 5720 - Galaxies
Highlights the classification, structure, content, dynamics, and other observational properties of galaxies, active galaxies, and clusters of galaxies. Discusses Hubble's Law, the cosmic distance scale,and the intergalactic medium. Department enforced prerequisite: senior level undergraduate physics.